American Anthem

American Anthem


Artist: Ying Quartet

Composers: Samuel Barber, Howard Hanson, Randall Thompson

Format: 1 CD + 1 Pure Audio Blu-ray


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American Anthem: The Music of Samuel Barber & Howard Hanson

Sono Luminus has come together again with the amazing talent of the Ying Quartet, and is excited to release American Anthem: The Music of Samuel Barber & Howard Hanson. Bringing together musical selections that are truly expressive of the American spirit, this album also includes a selection from American composer Randall Thompson, and features pianist Adam Neiman and baritone Randall Scarlata.

What makes American music American? There have been many answers to that debate, both in music and in words. Samuel Barber was a composer who did not aim to write “American” music. Though Barber was born and raised in West Chester, PA, many observers note that he seemed equally if not more at home in Europe, in particular Italy and England. In fact, Gian Carlo Menotti, his longtime partner, said in an interview that Barber did not believe in being American and was not interested in Americana. Barber himself once criticized other composers’ works saying, “A collage of a little bit of this and that doesn’t make American music American.” And yet, now Barber is considered one of the most celebrated—certainly one of the most performed and recorded—American composers of all.

On the other hand, Howard Hanson has been described by some as, “the greatest protagonist for American music that has ever lived.” Indeed, in addition to his own compositions, Hanson claimed to have premiered over 2000 works by American composers through his Festivals of American Music, first in California and then for many years in Rochester, NY. Though Hanson enjoyed considerable success with his works during his lifetime, his chamber music now is rarely performed. Hanson’s own answer to the question of what American music is was to say that American music is nothing more than music by American composers. On this disc, we are pleased to present the major string quartet works of these two very important figures in American music of the first half of the 20th century.

Track List

String Quartet, Op 11 (Samuel Barber)
1. Molto allegro e appassionato  7:30
2. Molto adagio [attacca]  6:52
3. Molto allegro (come prima)  2:14
4. Andante mosso, un poco agitato- allegro molto, alla breve  5:02

Serenade for String Quartet, Op. 1 (Samuel Barber)
5. Un poco adagio - Allegro con spirito  3:18
6. Andante con moto  2:03
7. Dance. Allegro giocoso  3:07

8. Dover Beach, Op. 3 (Samuel Barber)  8:08

9. String Quartet, Op. 23 (Howard Hanson)  15:09

10. Concerto da camera (Howard Hanson)  15:18

11. Alleluia  (Randall Thompson)  5:21

Total time: 74:02
Release date: March 2013
UPC: 053479216625

This is a highly recommended release, and not only to self-confessed fans of American music.
— Edward Bhesania, The Strad

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